Yael’s Variety Hour: The Usual. Plus a Car and a Rant

Welcome to the first Variety Hour of 2012! It’s also the first time I posted all my UFC 141-related content early (on Friday) so you could read it before the fights. That means we have less linkies this time around–an unlucky 13!


  • Why working at home is both awesome and horrible. A very funny cartoon on the Oatmeal which hits a little too close to home. (One of my teammates posted this on my facebook page–what is he trying to say?!)
  • A Departing Q & A with George Vecsey The Morning Delivery interviews former New York Times sports columnist George Veskey. My favorite quote: “Without editors planning assignments and copy editors fixing mistakes, reporters quickly deteriorate into Underwear Guys writing blogs from their den.”

Dude. You Totally Want This Car.

Health, Fitness & Science

  • The Year in Fitness. The New York Times provides a nice summary of the major stories of 2011.
  • The Fat Trap. Our body biologically makes it very, very difficult to keep off lost weight.



Enjoy! As always, feel free to post your comments on these or your favorite link(s) of the week.

Yael’s Variety Hour: Last Party of 2011!

The variety of links this week is the same as usual: some health and fitness posts, some thought-provoking pieces (on education and writing this time), food posts and combat sports posts. Enjoy!

Health and Fitness

  • The January 2012 issue of the Performance Menu is out! It’s got articles on pulling technique in Olympic weightlifting, incorporating animal moves into your workouts, and getting more cash flow in your gym. There’s also Paleo recipes, a comparison of the U.S. Men’s team’s 2007 and 2011 performances in the World Weightlifting Championships and a review of a day-long MovNat workshop, along with some Q+A on training post-ACL surgery and seeing significant gains in the lifts in your mid-30s. Yours for $5.
  • Body/Art. Really nice piece by Tav Byerhoff about art/fitness. Beautifully written…


  • The holidays are over, but if you ever want to buy a foodie a present, here’s 5 Great Kitchen Gadget Gifts which I wrote for City Pages’ Hot Dish blog.

MMA, BJJ, Wrasslin’

  • Jon Fitch is facing Johny Hendricks this Friday night. We’re totally trying to have a party, but I’m not sure anyone is coming. Anyway, here is part of my interview with Fitch: No Need to Dumb Down MMA on Sherdog. A longer profile should be up any day now.
  • InterMat Reads: Perfected by Girls is a really great audio interview with Alfred Martino, the author of Perfected by Girls, a book about a female amateur wrestler. I don’t normally read a lot of fiction, but this novel is definitely on my list.


  • Bootstrapping My Way Into the Ivory Tower. What if you want to be an academic, but you’re poor? What does this even look like? What are the challenges? This personal essay for the Chronicle of Higher Education makes some cogent points.

Yael’s Variety Hour: Food, Jits, Journalism, MMA & Random Food For Thought

Each Wednesday, I round up my favorite posts for the week–the humorous, thought-provoking, disturbing and enlightening. Here’s what we’ve got:

Random Food For Thought

  • When Reinforcement Fails. Because we are secretly in love with big fans of Jonah Lehrer. But seriously, this piece has interesting implications on the way “professional athletes over-generalize from their most recent actions and outcomes.” Read on: “They modify their behavior based on the result of a single shot, even though the success of the shot was shaped by unpredictable forces (a butterfly flapping its wings in Tokyo, etc.) and depended on situational details that are unlikely to be repeated. (Perhaps the defender was momentarily distracted, or failed to run around the screen.) As the scientists note, ‘The behavior of basketball players shows the limitations of learning from reinforcement, especially in a complex environment such as a basketball game’… “Sometimes, the best thing we can do is NOT learn from what just happened.”


  • We Are Journalists. Short manifestos, of sort, from real journalists with good things to say. Like this; “We would like to produce quality work without ‘obamasux99’ posting some non-sequitur rant at the end of it. We complain because we want things to be better. We are journalists.” Sing it!


Jiu  Jitsu


Yael’s Variety Hour: Poignant! Funny! Surprising! Inspiring! & Some WTF Moments.



Requisite MMA post


  • My Gay Lifestyle “I live the gay lifestyle, the gay lifestyle that is often mentioned by some Republican candidates for president. For those who are unfamiliar with the lifestyle, this is a typical day.


Movings and Shakings


Biz Newz

  • Beware of fancy formulas and slick shortcuts. Pam Slim strikes again.  And she knows us so well. Proof in this quote: “Instead of just writing your ebook, you get worried about the three tiers of affiliates you want to cultivate for it. Instead of getting your sales page ready for your January class, you spend 47 hours reading everything Sonia Simone has ever written about sales letters on Copyblogger. Instead of pitching a talk at your local Rotary Club to promote your personal training business, you attend a high-priced seminar on branding so you can choose the perfect tagline and color for your website. Instead of trying to secure a local sponsor for your first live event, you wonder how to get Richard Branson to Skype in from Necker Island.” This post is a good antidote.

Yael’s Variety Hour: A Little Bit of Everything


  • The December issue of the The Performance Menu: Journal of Health & Athletic Excellence is out! My piece is about picking yourself up after a loss; I spoke with sports psychologists Brady Greco and Dr. Kate Hays for their knowledge and expertise. The issue is packed with goodness. Greg Everett discusses 18-week programs and fixing the clean, Matt Foreman talks about missed attempts in training, Ryan Kyle describes emerging superstars in world weightlifting, Ryan Atkins explains the play day as a programming tool to maximize results and Sean Greeley gives biz strategies on getting more money flowing in your gym. Plus recipes by Scotty Hagnas. I made the pumpkin kale stew last night, and it was good.
  • PatchFitness is a pretty cool site Ryan Atkins turned me on to. I wish there was one in Minneapolis!




  • Check out this video for some slick grappling by Red Schafer and Chris Senner at King Grappler (and not for the soundtrack). Great submissions and nice transitions.





Yael’s Variety Hour: Resources for Bloggers, Strength and Conditoning, Penn State Commentary, & Some Humor

Posts abound in this week’s variety hour. I think this may be the biggest one yet. I actually had to separate MMA, BJJ and boxing, for instance… and there are numerous other categories. Hopefully you’ll be able to find something (or more than one thing) you’re interested in!

First things first!

Shameless Self-Promotion

For bloggers

Food For Thought

Humor (you’ll need it)

More Penn State commentary (in case you haven’t gotten your fill)

And Some Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors (Or Those Who Wish to Help)

  • Generative Somatics – Staci Haines. This is a great and positive resource for survivors of sexual assault. Haines’ website  has free articles, and links to trainings for therapists, psychologists, social leaders, community organizers, and coaches. Plus there’s links to her book and DVD.

Strength and Conditioning

  • Male Pattern Fitness. I’m totally addicted to this guy blog. But who doesn’t want to read about meat and muscle? Plus, all my guy friends are addicted to Stumptuous.com, so I’d say we’re even.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu



Yael’s Variety Hour: Geekiness, Food For Thought and the Usual (Paleo, Combat Sports, Writing)

Whoa, Nelly. My browser’s been busy this week, so brace yourself for a bazillion links on a variety of topics. Here goes.

Geeks, Unite!

  • Art of Learning Project. If you haven’t read chess guru Josh Waitzkin’s book, the Art of Learning, get thee to the library! (He writes a lot about tai chi in the book as well, using the two as models to explain how learning works). This is a project stemming from his research on the subject, and has some awesome resources for teachers. Check it out.
  • Why Do Some People Learn Faster? “Do we ignore mistakes, brushing them aside for the sake of our self-confidence? Or do we investigate the errors, seeking to learn from the snafus? The latter approach, suggests a series of studies, could make you learn faster.” From Wired.

Paleo Propaganda

For Freelancers

  • It’s not enough to be good – you have to show up. “You could have clips from the highest circulation women’s magazines or the most prestigious newspapers in the country, you could have written bestselling books, you could be making $100,000 a year. None of it matters if you don’t bring your A game to the assignment you’re working on today,” Michelle Rafter explains.

Requisite Combat Sports Section (Like the requisite BJJ section, only different.)

Good Food For Thought

  • Nightclubs Are Hell. What’s Cool Or Fun About a Thumping, Sweaty Dungeon Full of Posing Idiots? This piece cracked me up. Here’s a choice quote: “Even if you somehow avoid reproducing, isn’t it a lot of hard work for very little reward? Seven hours hopping about in a hellish, reverberating bunker in exchange for sharing 64 febrile, panting pelvic thrusts with someone who’ll snore and dribble into your pillow till 11 o’clock in the morning, before waking up beside you with their hair in a mess, blinking like a dizzy cat and smelling vaguely like a ham baguette? Really, why bother? Why not just stay at home punching yourself in the face?”





Shameless Self-Promotion

  • You probably heard about the guys who thwarted an attempted robbery at an L.A. hotel right before no-gi Worlds, but have you seen the video of one of the two superheroes fighting MMA? I managed to dig up his 9th fight here.
  • I write a weekly women’s MMA column for Fightergirls, and this week’s Women’s Weekly MMA Wrap-Up also has some results from female fighters who competed at no-gi Worlds, among other things.
  • Last but not least, I was pleased to be featured in this month’s spotlight of Networking News, the Twin Cities Professional Editor’s Network newsletter. If you’re a PEN member, make sure to check it out!
As always, feel free to post any comments or your favorite links from the week.

Yael’s Variety Hour: Dumb People, Hope for the Future, and Shameless Self-Promotion




  • This month’s issue of the Performance Menu is jam packed with great content: articles on the importance of coaching, unsustainable business models, incorproating the bucket list into Crossfit training, weightlifting program modifications, plus a bit of info on training during pregnancy and the hook grip, and, as always, recipes by Scotty Hagnas–spicy cucumber shots, anyone? I interviewed Team Death Clutch’s own Marty Morgan about peak performance, training and recovery–and managing the preparation of fighters. Yours for $5.

Yael’s Variety Hour: Body-weight Training, Jon Stewart & Letting Others Shine

Welcome back to the Variety Hour! Here are my favorite posts for the week.

Shameless Self-Promotion

I’m putting this here first because I’m just so excited to have an article in my dream magazine. It’s a beginner body weight workout, as designed by the amazing Krista Scott-Dixon.

In Seattle, San Francisco, Portland or New York? Then you don’t want to miss the book tour for this amazing work, which I recently described as a craft book compilation on crack. It’s got it all…including my very own delicious sugar body scrub recipe.


Requisite BJJ Section

Warm Fuzzies

As always, feel free to leave your favorite posts in the comments. See you next week!

Yael’s Variety Hour: Battling Scope Creep, Avoiding Content Mills and Motivation vs. Inspiration

Welcome to possibly the shortest variety hour ever. What can I say? Been busy. Here’s two pieces that apply mostly to freelancers, and one for everybody.

  • The Difference Between Motivation and Inspiration. “We seem to need motivation to get stuff done,” says Danielle LaPorte. “Typically there’s a lot of ‘measuring’ that happens in the realm of motivation. Check lists and goal posts and markers and such. There is often a fear of loss involved. We are on duty. All perfectly natural. But beyond finish lines and well done, is a different call. Inspiration. It is magnetic and progressive. It’s reasoning can not always be reasoned — I just gotta do it. It busts you outta shouldsville into the unfenced field of freedom and possibility. Inspiration is a completely different force of creativity….Follow the pull. It’s the first step toward flying.”

Shameless Self-Promotion

  • I’ll have some goodies–one in the November issue of Experience Life (squeee!) and one in the Performance Menu. I’ll write about these within the next two weeks… and there’s a few other things in the works… you will be the first to know!
  • For fight fans, I’ve got weekly recaps of The Ultimate Fighter over at MMA HQ. (Here’s the latest one, from last week.) I’ve also got a couple profiles which will be posted within the next couple weeks, so stay tuned!

See you next week!